staff of that commander before Vera Cruz
In the fighting that ensued he displayed a skill and bravery, not unmixed with rashness, that won him high praise from his superior.
In the reconnaissances before the victory of Contreras
, he specially distinguished himself, and this was also the case at the battle of Chapultepec
, where he was wounded.
Having already been brevetted major and lieutenant-colonel, he was now brevetted colonel, and he took his share in the triumphant entry of the city of Mexico
on September 14, 1847.
He was soon busy once more, employing his talents as engineer in the surveys made of the captured city, and showing his character in endeavoring to reconcile the testy Scott
with his subordinates.
Later, he was put in charge of the defenses of Baltimore, and later still, in 1852, he was made superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point
During his administration the discipline was improved and the course of study lengthened.
In 1855, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the Second Cavalry, and in the spring of the next year he joined his regiment in western Texas
Pursuit of marauding Indians and study of animals and plants employed his hours, but he suffered from his separation from his wife and children, domestic affection being as characteristic a trait as his genius for battle.
In July, 1857, the command of his regiment devolved upon him, and three months later he was called to Arlington
on account of the death of his father-inlaw, Mr. Custis
Despite the change in his circumstances, he returned to his command in Texas
and remained until the autumn of 1859, when he was given leave to visit his family.
It was during this visit that he was ordered with a company of marines to Harper's Ferry
to dislodge John Brown
Then, after giving the legislature of Virginia some advice with regard to the organization of the militia, he took command of the Department of Texas.
From afar he watched sadly the